Soon after landing at the Amritsar Airport, the young woman developed flu-like symptoms. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Chandigarh joined the growing list of Indian cities with coronavirus cases after a 23-year-old woman tested positive for COVID-19 disease on Thursday. A resident of Sector 21, the Chandigarh woman had returned to India on March 15. Soon after landing at the Amritsar Airport, she developed flu-like symptoms. On Wednesday, she self-reported at a government-run hospital in Chandigarh's Sector 32. After running tests, the woman has now been confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus. She and her mother have been kept in quarantine at the Government Medical College and Hospital, latest media reports say. India has so far reported 156 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Three deaths have been registered from Karnataka, Delhi and Maharashtra. The Centre has already issued stringent measures to curb the viral spread. Most of teh states in India are under partial lockdown with major commercial activities coming to a grinding halt. (COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES)
Meanwhile, Punjab government has rejected the reports about 167 coronavirus suspects gone missing. The 167 missing persons referred to by the Ludhiana civil surgeon were not COVID-19 suspected cases but were merely people with foreign travel history who could not be traced due to incomplete contact details shared by the Government of India, said Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, amid reports suggesting that they were suspected coronavirus cases who had absconded or gone missing.
All these persons had already been screened at the airports in Delhi, said the minister, adding that since the coronavirus outbreak, the government of India is sharing reports of passengers with international travel with all the States, including Punjab. While those found symptomatic are admitted in hospital and kept in isolation, as per protocol, the lists of asymptomatic passengers lists are shared with the concerned State, he elaborated. As a matter of precaution, the Punjab government contacts these passengers to re-verify their history and medical condition, he added.
In this case, the contact details of 335 passengers shared by the Government of India were incomplete, and lists of these passengers were shared with the district administration and the central government was also duly informed, Mr Sidhu said. Subsequently, 191 of these passengers were successfully contacted, and they all were found asymptomatic and had crossed 14 days period of observation, he added.
On March 14, Punjab government had announced the closure of gyms, big party halls, clubs, cinema halls and shopping malls till March 31st as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of coronavirus. Earlier on Friday, Punjab Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla announced closing of all schools in the state till March 31. “Keeping public health in view, we are contemplating closure of cinemas, restaurants, gyms, clubs till March 31. Besides, we are also thinking to impose ban till the end of this month on all such public functions which attract big crowds”, new agency PTI quotes Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu as saying over phone.
To counter the transmission of deadly virus, the Punjab government under Captain Amarinder Singh has formed a seven-member group of ministers to review the situation triggered by the coronavirus scare on a daily basis. Moreover, hospitals have been kept on high alert, with specialized arrangements to tackle any exigency arising out of COVID-19.
(With agency inputs)